The Scribe: Turkish Mezze

The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter took me to beautiful Turkey, jus the way she depicted the country made the book worth reading. But it was a good book in so many other ways too. I was only dissappointed in one thing; the story ended in a cliffhanger. But I forgive her because the book was just that good!

Ava’s been on the move all her life for two reasons. First, her stepfather doesn’t want her around, never has. And second, it’s the only way to deal with the voices she’s heard all her life. No one’s ever been able to help her and if there’s even a slight chance that someone could actually even muffle the noise she’s hearing, she’s ready for it.  Malachi is a Irin, a scribe, one of the decendants of the fallen angels. His race is here to protect human and humanity. And hunt the Gregori. And by a chance, their paths cross in Istanbul. Their connection is immediate, even though it takes time for them to understand what is really going on. In the process Ava begins her journey to find her true self. Malachi and his brothers are her guides and sworn to protect her, but that turns out to be a task that might be too demanding even for them.

The insipiration for this post came from a scene, where Malachi and Ava stop by this little café and order tee and a mezze platter for a quick bite. But for a quote I’ve chosen another scene, which is kind of a turning point for Ava. And for Malachi as well.

He finally registered what she’d said.
Tell me what language it was.
He’d cursed in the Old Language. Most people never even noticed.
Her eyes pleaded with him, and her shoulders shook.”Tell me I’m not crazy, Malachi.”
“Ava, did you…” He drew in quick breath as the pieces began to fall into place.
The headaches. Her nervousness in crowds. His instincts had warned him, but everyone said it wasn’t possible.
‘I heard you…’
Malachi shook his head.
Defeat washed across her face. “Please… I’ve heard it for so long.” She fell to her knees. “I just need to know -“
“What language are you talking about, Ava?” He knelt cautiously next to her, still stunned. Ava shook her head, eyes glassy and dazed.
“My whole life…” She wrapped her arms around herself. “They called me crazy. And now I’m imagining it out loud. I am -“
“This language?” he asked softly, whispering in the ancient tongue of the angels. “Ava, is this the language you’re talking about?”
She gasped and clutched the front of his shirt. “Malachi?”
He continued in soft words he knew she couldn’t understand. “Where have you heard this, beautiful one?” Malachi lifted trembling fingers to a curl of her hair, then he asked in English again. “Where have you heard this, Ava?”
She clutched his shirt tighter. “Everywhere,” she choked out. “I hear it everywhere.”
(Elizabeth Hunter: The Scribe, 35% Kindle edition)

Patlican Salatasi – aubergine paste
1 aubergine
1 clove of garlic
1/2 of small bunch of fresh parsley
2 tsp of sesame paste or 1 tsp sesame seeds
juice of half a small lemon
0,5 tsp vinegar
0,5 tsp white pepper
1 tbs olive oil
0,5 tsp salt

1. Bake the whole aubergine in oven in 240 ‘C for 45-60 minutes. Peel it warm and crush it with a knife. Put the aubergine crush into a bowl.
2. Chop the parsley and crush the garlic. Add them with rest of the ingredients into the aubergine crush and whisk the paste thoroughly. Store in fridge. This paste can be made the day before serving.

Haydari – yoghourt-walnut dip
3 dl turkish yoghourt
50 g walnuts
2 garlic cloves
3 tbs dill
1 tbs olive oil
0,5 tsp salt

1. Pour the yoghourt in deep bowl.
2. Crush the walnuts and garlic cloves. Add them into the yoghourt.
3. Chop the dill fine and add it with oil and salt into the yoghourt mixture. Mix them well and let the dip set in fridge for couple of hours before serving.

Lavash
5 dl water
11 g dry yeast or 25 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
10 dl wheat flour
1 dl cannola oil or olive oil
1 egg yolk to brush the bread before baking
sesame seeds to top the bread

1. Take a deep bowl. Dissolve the dry yeast into warm water. Add the salt and sugar.
2. Add the flour in small batches and finally add the oil. The dough should remain relatively soft. Knead it for about five minutes.
3. Cover the dough with a teatowel and let it rise for 1,5 hours.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 200’C
5. Pour the dough on  the counter and knead out the airbubbles. Knead the dough into a roll and cut in into ten pieces. Dust the counter with flour and press the pieces as flat as possible (you can also use rolling pin). The shape doesn’t matter.
6. Stab the breads with a fork for wholes, brush them with yolk and top with sesame seeds. Bake the breads in the middle level for about 10 minutes. Cool under towel and serve warm.

Köfte – meatballs
1 white onion
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground paprika
2 tsp cumin
500 g ground lamb meat or ground beef
1 large egg
2 tsp salt
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
grated peel of a lemon

1. Chop the onion. Heat a frying pan, add olive oil and sauté the onion with cinnamon, paprika and cumin. When the onion is soft and lucid, take the pan off the heat and pour the onions into a bowl.
2. Add the ground meat, egg, salt, finely chopped parsley and grated lemon peel (remember to wash the lemon with warm water before grating). Mix the ingredients into a dough.
3. Make meatballs with wet hands. You can either fry them on olive oil in a frying pan or bake them in oven in 200’C for about ten minutes.
ground black pepper

The Scribe (Irin Chronicles, #1)The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cliffhanger! Dammit! The book ends in a cliffhanger and that’s the reason for four stars instead of five. Now I’ve got to read the second on in the series too. But I would have anyway.

The Scribe isn’t the first book of fallen angels that I’ve read, but it was different. The whole take on the fallen angels is original and I just loved the world building.

The Irin are descendants of the Forgiven, the fallen angels that returned to heaven to serve the Creator as they were supposed to. The Irin have powerful magic, the males are the scribes, their magic is written and the females’, Irinas’ magic is sung and spoken.

Ava has been hearing voices all her life. She’s been to psychiatrists and doctors and no one has been able to help her. She has found some kind of peace from the voices from photography and travelling. On her yearly doctor’s appointment her doctor wants her to see a specialist in Turkey. Someone who has had succes with patients similar to Ava. And that’s how she ends up in Istanbul.

Malachi is a Irin, protecting the people of Istanbul from Gregori. Gregori are descendants of Fallen Angels that refused the forgivness and decided to stay on Earth, aiming to rule over people and cause mayhem and destruction. And of course, kill the Irin. And following the Gregori Malachi runs into Ava. And there’s got to be something special about her because the Gregori are interested too.

And that’s where the adventure begins. It’s almost impossible to write more without spoiling the story, but it’s a good story. I love the characters, they have personality and the depiction of Turkey is just beautiful and intriguing as is the lore of the fallen angels too.

And I kind of loved the cliffhanger too, beceause it me hope…

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